'Legally Blonde' Witherspoon Soon to Be Legally Separated

Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe, her husband of seven years, have separated.

"We are saddened to announce that Reese and Ryan have decided to formally separate," the couple said in a statement released to TMZ.com. "They remain committed to their family, and we ask that you please respect their privacy and the safety of their children at this time."

A representative for Phillippe confirmed to ABCNews.com that the couple is splitting up. A call to Witherspoon's representative was not immediately returned.

TMZ also reports that Witherspoon has contacted celebrity divorce lawyer Robert Kaufman, who has represented Jennifer Aniston, Roseanne and Lisa Marie Presley.

Witherspoon, 30, met Phillippe at her 21st birthday party. They have two children together.

Phillippe, 32, is currently appearing in the new Clint Eastwood film, "Flag of Our Fathers."

Witherspoon won best actress honors at the Academy Awards last year for her performance in "Walk the Line." Her next film, "Penelope," about a young woman suffering the effects of a family curse, opens Nov. 27.

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